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SEF Adult Spelling Bee Returns With Lofty Hopes

The Southington Education Foundation is seeking teams to register for their second annual spelling bee and they hope to expand on the first year's success.

Taking a shot at something new, members of the Southington Education Foundation's executive board decided to create a competition that would pit teams of adults against one another for the purpose of raising money for education.

The first-ever Adult Spelling Bee in 2011 drew 66 participants - a total of 22 teams with three per team - and helped raise over $7,000 later used to provide grants to schools in town. This year the contest returns and Dawn Miceli, a member of the foundation, said they are looking to build on that success.

"When you look at the commitment in town, at the number of people who were at the STEPS forum Wednesday, I don't think it's a stretch for us to push for a total of 30 teams," she said. "People have been generous in donating, but we want to see more involved."

Beth Pestillo, a member of the executive board, said it's a fun event designed not to "embarrass" adults, but rather encourage continued learning.

The forum for the spelling bee isn't what you might think. Instead of standing before an audience in a bright spotlight, teams will sit at a table together and compete simultaneously against other teams.

A word is given by the moderator, Pestillo said, and the teams will be asked to write their answers on a white board. The teams then choose one of the words and the last team standing wins the round.

"It's a lot of fun and it benefits our mission of providing enriched educational opportunities for Southington students tremendously," Pestillo said.

The 2012 Adult Spelling Bee has already received a corporate sponsorship from , ensuring that all proceeds will go towards grants. The next step is to get the teams set, Miceli said.

Participation is $100 per person, or $300 per team. The spelling bee will be held on April 19 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. For more information or to register, visit the SEF website at www.southingtoneducationfoundation.org, or contact Alan DeBisschop at (860) 621-3292.

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